She felt defeated to say the least.
Clara had led her right into a trap, and then disappeared. If she ever saw that wicked witch's face again, she swore she'd pummel it in, repeatedly. Her father pleaded for her to surrender, taking Silas' side while Norman... couldn't even look at her. Timena had trusted him and she refused to believe that he had given up her whereabouts so callously, there had to be an explanation.
The quiet chatter and continuous trotting of horses seemed neverending as they traveled through the forest. Timena hadn't said a word since she had been tied up and the urge to cry became more necessary as the minutes passed. Silas had once again put her over his shoulder to carry her over the stream which extremely irritated her, but he took obvious pleasure in it. Everything began to feel too familiar, it was almost overwhelming— it was not too long ago that Timena had trekked through this very same forest and over that stream to get away from him. Here she was, encircled in Silas' arms, hands and feet tied with multiple men around to ensure she couldn't escape. Embarrassment was one hell of a feeling, she couldn't believe she'd only lasted days... it was disappointing and shameful for her to even think about.
They had made it back to the point where Timena could remember jumping off her horse to escape, and her body sank momentarily. Silas chuckled.
As the sun was beginning to set, Norman led them to his old cottage where the men began to set up temporary camp outside. Silas got off his horse first, then placing his hands around Timena's waist, he easily lifted her off before putting her on the ground. The ropes around her wrists and ankles were untied and she was led inside by one of the guards.
"You must be hungry, take a seat." King Vassar pointed to one of the chairs near the fireplace and she slowly walked over, taking a seat.
Norman began to prepare food in the kitchen area, it was a strange sight— she had never seen him cook before, it had always been Eurina in the kitchen.
"Will you speak to me please Mena?" Vassar's pleading voice rang in Timena's ears once again. She looked up at him, analyzing his face, he seemed pained but she felt no sadness for that. "It had to be done, believe me, my child." She glared in return before looking away.
Vassar sighed, getting up before going outside. Timena immediately looked in Norman's direction as he stayed focused on preparing the food. She got up from the seat, walking over to him.
"Are you going to tell me what happened? Can you even look at me?" She asked through the tears that were threatening to escape.
"I am sorry." He said as he continued to chop up vegetables.
"That's all I get? No explanation!" She spat out.
Norman looked to her with pain in his eyes and he sighed, putting the knife down before walking over to her.
"Your sister overheard King Silas speaking with your parents about him wanting to marry you, your father tried to persuade him to choose Delacroix, but his mind was already set. She must have heard us talking the other day about your plan to escape and my guess, is that she searched my quarters and found the map which led him to find you here." He stopped momentarily, letting her process the information.
"I do not want you to think badly of your father, but he found a piece of a drawing with my family and myself and he must have known that I knew more than I was letting on when he showed it to me. He said that Silas, could hurt Eurina and Enoch and I couldn't, I couldn't risk that. I told them you would be in Vitabesk, but I didn't tell them anything about Makar's cottage. I still can't understand how those tw-" He was abruptly cut off as soon as King Silas and King Vassar came back inside.
Norman returned to chopping and Timena sat back down in the plush chair, trying to piece together everything she had been told. She knew that she was going to have nice sisterly chat with Delacroix when the time came, that was certain and when she was alone with Norman again, she would get the rest of the story, she needed to know everything.
That night, they ate rabbit stew that was wonderfully prepared by Norman, Timena hadn't realized how good of a cook he was. It was almost better than Eurina's stew, but she wouldn't ever let her know that.
Yawning for what seemed like the hundredth time, she quickly got up to go into the very same room she'd stayed in night's ago. When she entered the room, she saw that the sheets were still crumbled up from when she had slept in the bed. She slowly removed her armor and boots before letting herself fall onto the mattress and it didn't take long before she felt her breathing slow and her eyes shut.
It was not the loud noises of Timena's surroundings that woke her that morning, or even the smell of meat being cooked nearby. It was the warmth of something next to her that caused her to stir from a deep sleep. Opening her eyes, Timena was shocked to find half of her body resting on Silas' broad chest along with his arm loosely draped around her waist.
He wasn't there when I had fallen asleep last night.
Lifting her head from his chest slowly, she slid out of his grasp slowly until she had finally neared the edge of the bed.
"Did you sleep well my princess?" The deep rumble of his voice frightened her momentarily before she grunted loudly.
"Did I give you permission to sleep in the bed with me?" She asked angrily.
"You didn't seem to mind when you kept inching towards me last night." He grinned at her, clearly amused.
Before she could even attempt to curse at him, he'd already gotten up to leave the room, leaving her to revel in her own anger.
I was not inching anywhere near you, bastard. She assured herself.
Tying her wrists and ankles with rope again, they made their way through the forest one last time.
After a while, Timena became hot and sticky as she sat uncomfortably on the horse's back. The surroundings had become more than familiar now— she'd walked through there time and time again and she knew that they were nearly home. Finally, the cover of the trees began to disappear and the sunlight came into view, temporarily blinding her sight. Seeing the stable uphill, she slouched defeatedly. Relief and disappointment flooded her thoughts— she had never wanted to leave in the first instance but her short lived escape was rather sad and embarrassing.
The horses were brought to the stable and Timena was lifted off the back of his horse before she was freed from the ropes. Almost immediately Timena tried to move away but Silas' hold on her wouldn't budge.
"You can let go of me now, where am I going to go?" She asked, annoyed.
"Nowhere without me. Ever again." His response sent chills down her spine. Freeing herself from his grasp, she glared at him before running up the hill to the kitchen entrance.
Once she got inside, Eurina's eyes met hers. Easily dropping the knife she was using, she ran over to Timena.
Standing with her hands by her sides in Eurina's embrace, her body began to visibly shake.
"I'm so sorry my sweet child." Eurina repeated the words continuously until Timena pulled away. The sadness in her eyes was apparent.
"Did you speak with Norman?"
"Somewhat, but we were interrupted before he could finish." Timena sighed.
"Delacroix, she just..." Eurina was at a loss for words. At that moment, Silas and Vassar entered the kitchen. Turning to leave, Timena's feet trudged up the staircase.
The wooden door vaguely creaked as it was being opened. Looking around her bedroom, it had been cleaned and the bed was made. A hard knock came to her door and she opened it, seeing that it was Norman. He came in quickly before closing the door.
"Silas and your father would not have found you if those women hadn't told them where Makar's cottage was located. Did you tell anyone Timena, anyone at all or did they see you?" He asked, confusion evident in his tone.
"No I mean, I met a girl a-and she already knew where Makar lived but-" Timena stopped suddenly, piecing together certain details. "How many women were there and where were they?" She needed to know.
"Two women in an alleyway, directly in view of the center of the town. They were odd, as though they were in some kind of trance." Norman said absentmindedly as he walked back and forth around the room.
It could have only been the work of Clara, she must have made those women reveal where Makar's cottage was located. But why? Why would she do that?
"You also need to speak with your father, I suspect there are certain things he's been keeping from you that could be playing into all of this Timena." He said sadly. "But wait, what girl, who was she?" He asked.
It was secret after secret, there were so many contributing factors as to why she hadn't succeeded in her escape and she didn't even have all the information yet. There was no time like the present, she thought to herself as she felt her hands balling into fists.
There was a look of unmistakable anger in Timena's eyes as she brushed past Norman. She left the room in search of answers, and she was going to get them.
Opening the large doors, she walked in at a leisurely pace. Silas, Aldus and Miro stood facing King Vassar and Queen Adelia, they turned their heads to see her walking towards them. Delacroix looked frightened to her core and Timena took the utmost satisfaction in that. She sat rather close to their mother and continued to hold her head high as though she was proud or even justified in her actions. Timena chuckled, she was about to show her otherwise.
Ignoring Silas' gaze, she was fueled by anger as she presently stood before her family.
"Timena, we were so worried. What would cause you to run off like that?" Adelia practically ran over to her daughter, hugging her tightly. Timena could feel herself slightly softening at her mother's sudden affection but quickly pushed the feeling away.
"You know why I left." She turned her head in Silas' direction, and he smirked devilishly at her.
"What a lovely sister you are Dela, I guess I know now that my secrets are truly safe with you." Pulling away from her mother, she walked up a few steps to Delacroix who stood up from her chair. Timena was a few inches taller compared to her sister who was only a mere five feet and four inches tall, she looked down at her. Delacroix looked to be seething with anger herself.
"Now you can have everything, am I right? Our father's affection and now Sil-" Immediately stopping her from finishing that sentence, a hard slap seemed to echo in the room and Delacroix now held her cheek in shock.
"Timena what has gotten into you?" Her mother yelled as her father walked over, pulling on her arm to move her away from Delacroix.
"Fuck you, it has always been about you! It's always you, this is all your fault!" She suddenly screamed, punching and just barely missing Timena's face.
Yanking her arm back, she pushed Delacroix forcefully back down in the seat before kicking the chair back.
Delacroix screamed in horror as she fell backwards.
A set of arms entrapped her own behind her back as Timena felt herself being pulled away.
"Girls control yourselves-" Vassar said sternly before being interrupted.
"And I wonder what you've been hiding father, what secrets have you been keeping?" Timena thrashed in the tight hold and turned around as much as her body would allow, seeing that it was Silas who was holding her back. She glared at him before being led out of the room.